Director of Development and Communications
Media Alert: Media Guidelines for Reporting on Suicides
June 5, 2018
Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services was saddened by news of designer Kate Spade’s suicide and urges reporters to be responsible and follow attached media guidelines aimed at keeping our communities safe.
- Refrain from describing the suicide method or the contents of a suicide note.
Details can further traumatize family members and friends. Also, the risk of additional suicides increases when stories include graphic descriptions, headlines or images of the suicide method.
- Include the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number 1-800-273-8255 in stories about suicide.
Reporters can have a positive influence by encouraging help-seeking behavior.
- Say “died by suicide” rather than “committed suicide.”
Suicide is a public health issue, not a crime.
Didi Hirsch’s Suicide Prevention Center is the first in the United States and the only one that offers comprehensive crisis services, therapy, training and research. We help people thinking about suicide, concerned loved ones and those who have attempted or are grieving a loss. Our multilingual crisis line answered more than 100,000 calls, chats and texts in 2017 and is one of three that takes calls on the national Disaster Distress Helpline.